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Winter

“Just because God has a plan, it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.” – Mary in The Star

I took my nephew to see the movie The Star, and man did we enjoy it! I’m pretty sure we had all the feels throughout the movie, but we mostly laughed! I think our favorite part was when the donkey kept trying to talk to Mary & Joseph. It would switch between the donkey talking so that we understood what he was trying to say and going heehaw. We would just bust out laughing every time they did this!

There were so many good one-liners, but I had to post about the quote above about God’s plan, as this November/December I’ve run into these not easy parts of life. I’ve felt it coming on for some time, like the process of a leaf on a tree. It turns a beautiful red/orange/yellow, falls off the tree, and then the tree is left to barrenness for winter.

I actually googled whether a tree is considered dead because clearly science is not my strong subject! The trees look so dead in Michigan in winter! Did you know that leaves are actually cut-off by the tree to conserve water and energy? The conserved energy is then stored to be used later for essential functions only in the roots to keep the tree alive until spring. Essentially, the tree slows down its system to survive.

As I read on this, I thought about how I’ve tried to slow down life the last month or so. With all of the Christmas parties/gatherings this past week, it’s been a struggle, but I’ve tried to slow down life by creating space in my schedule. Like I’ve posted previously, I’m creating space to be diligent in the things that I’ve really felt needed attention. It’s caused a bit of “essential living”, and has caused me to cut-off some things that I don’t need to survive right now. It’s not that I don’t ever need these things and that they, like the leaves on a tree, don’t bring beauty to my life. It’s focusing in on what is an essential function.

We can know that there’s a greater plan and purpose in the winter seasons of life, but it can be hard to remember that. It can be hard to hold onto the hope that God’s got this. I’ve had the song “Seasons” by Hillsong Worship on repeat lately. The lyrics have great imagery – take a listen on the media player and look at the Chorus & Bridge:

CHORUS
Though the winter is long even richer
The harvest it brings
Though my waiting prolongs even greater
Your promise for me like a seed
I believe that my season will come

BRIDGE
I can see the promise
I can see the future
You’re the God of seasons
I’m just in the winter
If all I know of harvest
Is that it’s worth my patience
Then if You’re not done working
God I’m not done waiting
You can see my promise
Even in the winter
Cause You’re the God of greatness
Even in a manger
For all I know of seasons
Is that You take Your time
You could have saved us in a second
Instead You sent a child

Seasons come and go, and it’s worth my patience to wait for the next season. It’s worth my holding onto hope and His promises. This morning’s message at church was another great reminder of waiting for things we do not yet see with patience: “For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” Romans 8:24-25. We were reminded that what we are facing today is not comparable to our future hope in Christ. It was a great point to draw my focus from my current temporary struggles to my eternal hope!

This winter season is a reminder that He’s working in, through, around us, and I don’t want to move on to the next season until He’s done working! The work of sanctification – from glory to glory. “The more we let God take us over, the more truly ourselves we become” – C.S. Lewis. I don’t want to be the same person from season to season. I want to leave it a different and better person than when I entered!

The winter season can be a reflection of the cold, barren, and quiet season of life. I hope that you remember with me – though it may feel long, like a bitter Michigan winter, it’s temporary! There’s a season to come with new life, new leaves, new promises, new struggles, new harvest!

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